Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

To Whom It May Concern ... or Not! Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

To Whom It May Concern ... or Not! Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Bernard Trafford

Dear President Obama, I ADMIT I find myself surprised to be writing to you. I was actually going to send an email to my mum but, since I gather you're reading all our emails now, I decided I might as well write to you direct and wish you a happy Independence Day.

To be honest, I'm not sure what interest you can have in my emails, internet traffic or indeed, the whole of my life. But that nice Mr Snowden assures me you have people monitoring all my communications.

So I suppose you know all about my principal internet vices: Amazon and Tesco Wine online. You've probably observed that I spend too much with the former when I've sampled too much of the latter.

If you've noted what movies I buy on DVD, you'll have spotted that one of my favourite films is Enemy of the State. You know the one: Will Smith plays a bewildered lawyer who falls foul of a CIA black operation involving the assassination of a senator.

What's fascinating about the film is that he finds he is up against the whole USA surveillance mechanism, subverted by a rogue section of the CIA. Sorry, I guess that's a bit close to home for you.

I'm puzzled as to why you're so interested in me and my fellow citizens. Do you need to know my political leanings in case I'm a danger to Western democracy? You'll have worked out I'm strictly a disillusioned wishy-washy liberal (with a small l). Frankly, I find most politicians too busy and self-important to listen to what real people need. Perhaps I should be pleased you're listening, then? I'm finding it hard to get my head round this.

I hope you had a good trip to South Africa. Sorry you didn't get to meet Nelson Mandela. He must be one of those few guys in the world that almost everyone (including me) would like to meet.

I'm glad you had a pleasant visit to Enniskillen with G8 the other week. …

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